Biker Girl

3 Thu, 2011 § 8 Comments

Eisley was having such a difficult time adjusting to me working full time, I decided I needed to find someone to check in on her during the days she is alone.  Rather than having someone simply let her out & give her a little attention, we thought a run a couple times a week would do her good.  She’s big energy in a little package after all.   After taking her for a short evaluation run, our guy from Marathon Dogs said a short run might not be enough & suggested we let him try biking with her.  She has been on a few trails with us while mountain biking, but had never run on leash next to the bike.  After promising he would be very careful & patient with her, I consented.

Yesterday was her first run!  She did great & one of the wonderful things about Marathon Dogs is he sends a follow up email immediately following the run to let us know how it went.  I love this.  He started her off slowly, just walking next to the bike until she was really comfortable with it.  She took to it right away; soon he was pedaling, & she was running!  He was even able to tell me her mileage & preferred & top pace.

She was still as excited & energetic as ever when we got home…so much for an exhausted puppy. 😉  He will be increasing her run time throughout their following sessions.  I hope she is having fun.

[She was not nearly this tuckered out; this old photo makes me anxious for summer & miss climbing in American Fork Canyon in Utah.]

[photo by David Finch]

Because her skin is thin, the harness has a tendency to chafe when she runs.  I need to find an Iggy-specific harness, fully padded on the straps.  Any recommendations?

Eisley got her workout in, so Dave & I decided to do something short before dinner — it was my turn to make it up.  I was not going to share this because I was not thrilled with it, but I am hoping you can help me.  I really like the concept of no rests, alternating between the lower body wall sits & an upper body or core exercise.  However, this was not challenging enough.  Don’t get me wrong — 8 minutes worth of wall sits seriously burned toward the end; the in-between exercises were not hard enough though.

We did 2 sets:

  • Wall Sit – 60 seconds
  • Pike Press – 30 seconds
  • Wall Sit – 60 seconds
  • Seated Bicycle – 30 seconds
  • Wall Sit – 60 seconds
  • Hanging Knee Raises – 30 seconds
  • Wall Sit – 60 seconds
  • Tricep exercise – 30 seconds [Dave did Dips; I did Tricep Push Ups]

I like the tricep push ups & hanging knee raises, though I could have gone for 1 minute.  30 seconds just didn’t seem long enough for any of the workouts, so I could increase the time or do a set # of reps rather than a specific time.  I am actually thinking doing each to fatigue would be the way to go.  Thoughts?  Oh, & how can I make the pike press/push ups more challenging?  I switched to one-leg which seemed pretty good.  I realize I could just do a more standard push up, but I like rotating pike presses into my workouts because they work a different aspect of the shoulder.

Since we did not feel worked enough, we finished up with extra sets of these workouts & played around with some others.  Dave likes to make up challenges — & he invented the best tricep partner exercise!  We may have to find a way to record it on video though, rather than try to explain.

Finally it was time for dinner.

Deconstructed Baked Potatoes

I love trying to deconstruct dishes recently — breaking down components to develop & rethink the flavor of each ingredient, like enhancing these simple potatoes with fancy lavender salt.  We also topped the roasted, red potatoes with tempeh [me], real [Dave] bacon, chives & added a big dollop of Greek yogurt.  I was never a huge fan of sour cream on my potatoes, but the yogurt was extremely satisfying & cooling with the potatoes & herbs.

p.s. The first time I tried Fage Greek Yogurt, I accidentally bought 2% rather than non-fat & never looked back.  I already feel guilty having dairy, & since the craving usually only hits every three weeks or so, I make sure it’s worth it. 😉


Your yogurt: is it full fat or fat free?

Do you run or bike with your dog?  Do you have a great, padded harness you can recommend?

Please, help me with this workout!


Snow Dog

28 Mon, 2011 § 3 Comments

Sunday was a lazy lonely day.  I woke to snow falling, which didn’t cease until several inches more lay on the ground.

Saturday I climbed at the gym & intended to be active again yesterday, but movies, lounging & knitting [& re-knitting] made up much of my day until Dave gently coaxed me over the phone into taking a hike.

Trudging through a good foot-&-a-half to two feet of snow is generally not my idea of a good time, & I soon considered retreating.  Eisley’s “crazy dog”-sprints back & forth made me laugh & the fresh air invigorated me, so there was no turning back just yet.  The photographer in me even hibernated.  I just wanted to enjoy being out with Eis.

[An older photo of Eisley [not-so-much] enjoying the snow]

She coaxed me straight up the steep hill into the woods though there is a perfectly good trail that meanders more gradually.  This perfectly good trail waaas hidden by the snow, offering us a blank canvas.  Though her route might not have been my first choice, I had to follow her child-like excitement as we broke first tracks.  She charged halfway up the hill, turned & looked as if to say, “hurry, follow me, mom!”  When I met her, she even pounced at me playfully.  Everyone should be blessed with this type of companionship.

Eisley does not always love the snow, but yesterday she sprang, dashed & rolled in the white powder.

I do not always love the snow either, but I guess it is growing on both of us.

p.s. Guess who will be home today?!!  Expect next post to be short & sweet. 😉


Do you like playing in the snow?


11 Fri, 2011 § 9 Comments

This was the number on the scale yesterday.

A beautiful sight!

This means Eisley has gained about 1.5 pounds in just short of two weeks!  I have started to decrease her hefty calorie portions, & today she didn’t finish her breakfast; this seems to be a good sign we are finding a healthy weight & food portions for her.  Other than Monday, we have all had a much less stressful week; Eisley was able to go to work with Dave twice this week, which really helped.  Hopefully she will be ok home alone today.  I am looking for someone to check in on her during the day a couple times a week as well as hoping to be able to bring her to work with us a couple days.  We will find a system that works & keeps everyone happy!

[photo by David Finch]

Another beautiful sight made my morning: a small herd of elk!  Four, majestic cows wandered through the field [ok, golf course] across the street while we waited for the bus.  It certainly made the cold slightly more bearable to see these creatures move so gracefully & powerfully through the morning haze.  Elk are my favorite wild animal, & I have really wanted to go hiking through the woods lately in hopes of spotting them; guess I just needed to go to the golf course! 😀


I did not feel like working out at 5:30 this morning, but I pushed through & am glad I did.  I also brought my bike in on the bus to run errands after work — it was 6*F this morning — I was not biking all the way from home in 6 degrees.  My already frozen face & fingers thank me.


6 rounds = 4 minutes each exercise: 10 seconds rest; 30 second maximum effort intervals

  • Burpees ~ 6 – 6 – 6 – 6 – 5 – 5
  • Pistol Squats, alternating left then right ~ 7 – 8 – 7 – 9 – 8.5 – 9
  • Ninja Jump Tucks ~ 6 – 6 – 5 – 5 – 6 – 5
  • Hanging Knee Raises ~ 11 – 10 – 11 – 11 – 10 – 10

Track your reps so you can push harder each time & gauge improvements in strength, agility & endurance.

Happy Friday!


Do you see wild animals often where you live?

A Little Worried

2 Wed, 2011 § 9 Comments

Yesterday was rough.  I nearly froze walking to/from work, I missed the bus home 😦 & was welcomed by a lovely accident Eisley left on the spare bathroom [fortunately hard] floor near the toilet…it was as if she knew.

Dave is amazing & offered to take on cleanup duty while I walked the naughty girl.  Honestly, we are not going to [fully]blame her.  We recently [meaning yesterday], increased her calorie intake by quite a significant amount because she has been losing weight — even though I feed her just over the recommended serving.  Could I really expect her tummy not to be upset while it adjusts to the increased digestion?  Was it reasonable to think she could hold it 8 hours?

Apparently not.

I learned; so this morning I was up at 5am walking her so she could do her business, eat then do her business again at 7am before we left.  Phew!  Cross your fingers with me.

[David Finch]

She is still adorable.

At her checkup on Monday, I learned she has lost nearly 2 pounds since we moved!!  Already a tiny, wiry little thing, every pound is vital.  Guess she has a metabolism like her dad. 😉  We will increase her calorie intake for a couple weeks to see if that helps; otherwise, we will have to draw blood to test for deficiencies. 😦  I feel like such a bad mommy.  I promise I am not starving my girl.


Have you ever had a pet lose weight?  What do you feed your dog?  [We have been using EVO]

First Day

6 Thu, 2011 § 6 Comments

First day in years I have done the 8 to 5 thing.  [aw, I did love the flexibility of sports massage.]

First day Eisley has been home alone all day, ever.

Good news: no accidents!

Bad news: the kiddie gate was futile.

We gated off the kitchen area to make sure she could “hold it” all day.  I am sure she jumped it about 30 seconds after we walked out the door.

Hopefully, we can find a neighbor to check in on her.  I hated leaving her all day.

I missed my Eis.

I am already looking forward to the weekend, but it was a good first day of training.  We have a lot of fun things planned Saturday & Sunday, but I also need to cook & plan for the work week & get some fun posts & recipes ready!


Pet parents out there, what do you do with your babies while you are at work?

Any tips for planning/prepping those work week lunches?  [Man! How do you 9-to-5ers do it?]


19 Fri, 2010 § 4 Comments

Playing outdoors often means packing & hauling quite a bit of gear around.  Bouldering: crash pads, chalk buckets, climbing shoes, Klean Kanteens, guide book, etc.   Mountain biking: bikes, camelback, water, tools, etc.

Whether we are climbing, backpacking, camping…hauling around heavy — or even light — bowls for Eisley is simply not efficient.

Our girl must have water though, & as perfect as Dave’s large hands work for a makeshift drinking bowl, we’ve found another solution to the problem of carrying bulky items.

This Pet Bowlz by Fozzils unsnaps to flat & is extremely lightweight.  It easily slides/packs for all of our outdoor excursions.  The set is great for trips as well; rather than packing heavy bowls from home, she simply ate her meals from these when visiting family or while camping.  Honestly, as we are moving around & trying to simplify/reduce our “stuff”, these have become her permanent “bowlz”.

  • Ultra Lightweight
  • Packs Flat
  • Sturdy
  • Easy to Clean
  • Bright Colors easy to See [even in dim lighting = good for camping]

Nearly every time we are out, we comment how glad we are Dave found these at the Black Diamond Store; I think they were ~$16 – $20.  I believe you can find these at REI as well as other outdoor retailers.

Another snappy solution we’ve come to love while playing hard?

A means to hold our rings.

After seeing Natalie’s brilliant tip for protecting wedding bands while lifting weights,

I thought I’d share what we do with ours while climbing.

This nifty, spring-locking clasp hangs from our key chain as the perfect ring holder.  I think they came from a couple crazy little Cootie key chains I had — do you remember Cooties?!  So fun!

Now I’m not sure how to tie this next bit in with the “snap” concept…oh wait —

Harrummph [clearing my throat] —

I used to be bewildered & intimidated by bean burger recipes.  I thought it had to be tricky to create just the right consistency to hold the burgers together.  You know what?  They are a snap.  😉

Tuesday evening rolled around, pasta was on the menu; & it just sounded too heavy.  We wanted something lighter, like salads, but with a nice bit of protein & some texture.

A can of black beans called out, & I decided to just go for it & make my own burger creation.

Slightly crunchy on the outside, moist & soft on the inside — these were tasty. I’ll definitely be experimenting with burger creations more!  Maybe I’ll try adding actual olives next time.

Olive Black Bean Burgers

makes 4 burgers

Preheat oven to 350*F.

  • ~1/3 C bread crumbs, toasted [toast bread before tearing into crumbs]

[any bread will do, but the olive artisan loaf we used added a nice flavor]

  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp corriander
  • ½ tsp garlic powder [or 1 clove fresh garlic]
  • ½ tsp onion powder [~2T fresh onion, chopped]
  • substantial dash of red pepper flakes
  • dash dried parsley
  • salt & pepper to taste

In a food processor, process bread crumbs & seasonings to combine.

  • 1 can black beans, drained [~1 heaping cup]
  • 1 tsp EVOO

Add beans & oil to processor & pulse until coarsely chopped, leaving the beans somewhat chunky.  Don’t over-process, or you might get mush.

  • 1 flax”egg” [whisk 1T ground flaxseed with 3T warm water & let sit ~10minutes]

Add to processor & pulse a couple times until just combined.

Roll into 4 balls & flatten onto a lightly oiled baking sheet.

Bake at 350*F for ~20 minutes per side [~40minutes total].


How do you keep your rings safe & prevent losing a finger while working out or playing hard?

Team Summer or Team Fall?

8 Wed, 2010 § 2 Comments

I am all about sunshine & bright blue skies.  Because I freeze E.A.S.I.L.Y, 80-90 degree days suit me just fine for the most part.  Flip flops, tank tops, sun-kissed hair & golden skin.  Who doesn’t love Summer?

Suddenly, a longing is creeping over me; I find myself craving winter squash, home-made bread & long walks in the cool air, haloed by red & golden leaves.  Cozy sweaters, pretty scarves & fun hats.  I cannot help but love Fall…

…until I step out the door for Eisley’s morning walk & a freezing chill attacks my body; then I long for Summer to stay just a little longer.

Honestly, I truly love these transitional moments in Mother Earth’s cycle.  Many of her bounty is at its peak now, but an approaching quietness can also be sensed.  My own body & mind still feel the go-go-go of Summer but have begun a battle of “laziness” as well.  Even my appetite is torn between Autumn heartiness & the light fair of Summer.

So I caved…more than once in the past couple weeks…& have been enjoying pumpkin in everything from VOO Parfaits to Green Monsters to banana-scramble sandwiches [eyebrow raise].

Eisley loves both banana & pumpkin.  I love both banana & pumpkin.  Why can we not love them together?

Pumpkin is actually really good for dog’s digestion.

It is not half bad for people either 😉  Rich in antioxidants & beta-carotene, pumpkin is an extremely nutrient-dense food.  It is low in fat & calories; high in potassium & contains amounts of niacin, vitamin E, calcium & iron worthy of mentioning.  Don’t forget the seeds!  Also known as pepitas, they are high in essential amino acids & zinc, as well as iron, protein & fiber.  Not bad at all so eat up!

I loved my banana-pumpkin combo in a slightly different way than Eisley ;).

With a fork, mash together about [I do not often measure]:

3 T Thick-Rolled Oats

2 T Rice or Almond Milk

half a Banana

1 T Pumpkin puree

½ tsp cinnamon, ¼ tsp nutmeg, ¼ tsp ginger

a dash of maple would also be good

You want it to be thick so it holds together for the most part.

  1. Heat coconut oil in a pan over medium heat.
  2. Add mixture to the pan & flatten slightly.
  3. Cook until slightly browned ~3-5 minutes
  4. Flip & brown other side.  [Do not stress if it falls apart; just “scramble” & enjoy]
  5. Plop onto your favorite toasted bread

[mine: WF’s in-house Seeduction loaf, lightly broiled]

My Banana-kin Scramble Sandwich stayed safe & warm in its tinfoil home during the bike commute to work,

where it was gobbled up between clients.  Mmm.


Whose team are you on?  Team Fall or Team Summer?

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